Amtech Systems, Inc. today reported results for its first fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2015.
First Quarter Fiscal 2016 Operational and Financial Highlights
- Customer orders of $35.6 million (solar $23.0 million)
- Book-to-bill of 1.7 (solar 2.6)
- Net revenue of $22.1 million (solar $9.5 million)
- Quarter-end backlog of $42.9 million (solar $31.3 million)
- Net loss of $4.0 million, or $0.31 per share
Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "We had healthy order activity in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 with $35.6 million in orders, driven primarily by our solar business. Quoting activity in solar remains strong supporting our current view that we can expect to see continued improvement in the marketplace. We expect to see most of the benefit of our recent solar orders in the second half of fiscal 2016, due to timing of shipment. As a market leader, we are focused on building upon the distinctive strengths of our solar technology solutions to support our customers' interest in advancing both their product and productivity."
Customer orders in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 were $35.6 million, compared to $18.8 million in the preceding quarter and $30.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
At December 31, 2015, the Company's total order backlog was $42.9 million compared to total backlog of $34.6 million at September 30, 2015 and $48.3 million at December 31, 2014. Total backlog at December 31, 2015, includes $31.3 million in solar orders and deferred revenue compared to solar backlog of $22.9 million at September 30, 2015 and solar backlog of $40.7 million at December 31, 2014. Backlog includes deferred revenue and customer orders that are expected to ship within the next 12 months.
Net revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 was $22.1 million, a decrease of 22% compared to $28.2 million in the preceding quarter, and an increase of 78% compared to $12.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. The sequential decrease is due primarily to lower volume in the solar segment. The increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2015 is due to increased demand in the solar segment and the inclusion of BTU revenues, partially offset by a decrease in the polishing segment due primarily to the strength of the US dollar versus currencies in the markets served.
Gross margin in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 was 27%, compared to 23% in the previous quarter and 28% in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. The higher margins sequentially resulted primarily from an improvement in our semiconductor product mix.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 were $7.6 million compared to $9.1 million in the preceding quarter and $6.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Sequentially, the decrease results primarily from lower shipping and commission expense on lower sales volume. Compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2015, the increase results primarily from inclusion of BTU's SG&A since January 30, 2015, and higher selling expenses related to higher revenues. SG&A expenses include $0.3 million, $0.3 million and $0.2 million of stock-based compensation expense in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 and first quarter of fiscal 2015, respectively.
Research, development and engineering (RD&E) expense was $2.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 compared to $3.0 million in the preceding quarter and $1.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. The sequential decrease in RD&E expense is primarily due to the deconsolidation of the Company's Kingstone subsidiary slightly offset by a decrease in R&D grants earned. Compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2015, RD&E expense increased due primarily to the inclusion of RD&E expense of BTU and SoLayTec, partially offset by the effect of the deconsolidation of Kingstone.
Depreciation and amortization in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 was $783,000, compared to $869,000 in the preceding quarter and $705,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
Income tax expense in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 was $0.3 million compared to $1.3 million in the preceding quarter. The sequential decrease is due primarily to taxes on the Kingstone gain recognized in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. The Company had an income tax expense in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 of $0.2 million.
Net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 was $4.0 million, or $0.31 per share, compared to a net income of $1.3 million or $0.10 per share in the preceding quarter and a net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 of $5.2 million, or $0.53 per share.
Total unrestricted cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2015 were $22.6 million, compared to $25.9 million at September 30, 2015. The decrease in cash is due primarily to cash used in operations and to fund working capital, partially offset by proceeds in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 from the partial sale of Kingstone.
The company expects revenues for the quarter ending March 31, 2016, to be in the range of $20 to $22 million. Gross margin for the quarter ending March 31, 2016, is expected to be in the high teens percent range due to expected lower shipment volumes, with negative operating margins. As a result of recent orders received in December and January and anticipated future order activity, the company expects the quarterly revenue run rate to be significantly higher in the second half of fiscal 2016 compared to the first half of fiscal 2016.
Operating results could be impacted by the timing of system shipments, the net impact of revenue deferral on those shipments, and recognition of revenue based on customer acceptances, all of which can have a significant effect on operating results.
A substantial portion of Amtech's revenues are denominated in Euros. The revenue outlook provided in this press release is based on an assumed exchange rate between the United States Dollar and the Euro. A significant decrease in the value of the Euro in relation to the United States Dollar could cause actual revenues to be lower than anticipated.